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Nicotine, Opioids, & Recovery

Why are these two drugs the sooooo addictive & extremely difficult to stop using? ​The most simplistic answer is that no one likes pain. Both of these drugs relieve pain. When pain is relieved, life is much more manageable.

  • Opioids mask perceived pain and relax the central nervous system (goes to your internal organs)

  • Nicotine physically relaxes almost every area of the nervous system

They also have incredibly short half-lives (nicotine 2 hrs, most opioids 2-4 hrs). That means, at first, the user must re-dose every 2-4 hours. Re-dosing that often causes rapid depletion of the neurotransmitters they cause the body to dump. It also forces the body to increase the number of chemical receptor sites they activate. Very quickly, these effects add up to increased “tolerance,” and the user must take in more & more to get the original feeling of pain reliefThe body just can’t keep up. Eventually, the relief doesn’t happen anymore, but the person continues to chase the original feeling.

  • The relief is artificial

  • The problem still exists & continues to build

  • The results are devastating

Don’t despair, recovery IS possible! Naturopathic medicine has some amazing treatments that can help make your recovery easier:

  • Herbs

  • Nutritional supplements

  • Dietary changes

  • Hydrotherapy techniques

  • Physical medicine, etc…

that can all provide actual, long-term, non-addictive pain relief. They can also help relieve symptoms of both the physical & mental-emotional withdrawal. There are some fantastic programs widely available for smoking cessation, and many of them are free! If you’re here in California go to: If you’re anywhere else, do an internet search for “Free smoking cessation programs.” As for opioid addiction recovery, I would strongly suggest starting your recovery process by going to a reputable treatment program, if possible. Here is a website with some good info on how to locate help without insurance:

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